Photography, including both the art and the science of, has become an integral part of my life over the past 42 years.
The world of nature photography and photojournalism has opened an entire new chapter in my life. It has rekindled the “fun and intrigue” in what can sometimes become a repetitive craft. You seldom can anticipate what might be waiting around the next curve of the road or bend in the path. The subject matter is diverse but seldom restrictive and can create a test of ones patience, knowledge and photographic skills all while set within the wonder of our natural world. Mother Earth can throw you a few curves here and there, but at the same time provide limitless opportunities and endless adventure.
I have always been an explorer of the great outdoors and an aspiring naturalist with a curious interest into the biology and behavior of the many species of flora and fauna that inhabit our surroundings. Every eco-system holds a treasure trove of life and fascination to explore and discover. And now as an “aspiring” nature photographer, capturing images and documenting my exploration with the camera and lens has become a wonderful obsession and I have since developed an exceptional fascination and love for birds and blooms. My techniques of avian photography tend to differ from my colleagues and peers somewhat in that I prefer to capture my subjects in their natural surroundings without the use of props, setups and any artificial or “clean” backgrounds that so many prefer. However, I try to add an “artistic touch” through the control of the lens itself.
Another passion is to explore the history and culture of our great country through creative photojournalism. Our nation is a rich and diverse melting pot of cultures and human characteristics. One of my favorite cultures is that of the Pennsylvania Dutch (Amish) with their plain and hard-working lifestyles.
“In the beginning”
I had developed an interest in this craft since my childhood and playing with the family camera. My sincere fascination started in the early 1970’s while on a tour of duty with the military in Germany. There I purchased my first film SLR camera and began a hobby that would soon turn into a fabulous trade. I would spend hours upon hours photographing anything of interest with a passion for candid and expressive captures of unsuspecting people. I became quite the hobbyist “street” photographer during my extended stay in Europe.
After returning to the US and a settling back to my home town of Houston Texas, I began to further my experience and education through photographic and art studies with the local university. Not just in the “behind the camera” practices and photojournalism, but the science and technical end of photography, including developing and printing, chemical process controls and lab operations. I would also graduate from the 35mm film SLR to medium and large format professional cameras, lighting and equipment.
I would begin my photographic career and an eventual partnership with Frederick Boswell Photographers in Spring BranchTexas, a suburb of Houston. There I would specialize in Family, Corporate, Commercial and Industrial photography and would co-found and manage Accu-Color Photographic Laboratories with a few employees. Fred Boswell was a leading “carriage-trade” wedding and portrait photographer in the Houston area. The years with Boswell and Accu-Color were a virtual stepping stone and a vital development time of my photographic skills. After over 12 years, Fred decided to retire and relocate to California. Shortly after we dissolved the company, I would move to Washington DC and begin a 16 year career with the National Geographic Society and its wonderful magazine.
I began with National Geographic in the photographic lab and eventually moved into Digital Imaging. I received more advanced training and education through RIT, DuPont, Lyno-Type Hell and Heidelberg Graphics to include the many aspects of the digital-imaging, prepress and the printing world from image manipulation, color separations, proofing to full magazine production. My position with the magazine was diverse and would include “hands on” in many areas of production from working with photographers, cartography, layout and design and printing and engraving. One of the most rewarding points of my time at National Geographic was the ability to work side by side with wonderful talented people and the finest photojournalist in the world. “Not to mention being associated with such an outstanding and well known organization.”
Leaving the “hustle-bustle” of Washington DC and the pressures and deadlines of magazine production, I would semi-retire here in rural south-central Pennsylvania and return to my love of “behind the camera” and photojournalism by founding my small business, Arts N Images and beginning a “laid back” approach to the world of photography and art.
I still love and will continue photographing the human form to capture those wonderful poses and expressions. “I may even return to the street once in a while.”
I have since “somewhat” returned to the magazine world, although without the pressure and deadlines. I have joined “WildlifeSouth”, an online publication as a forums moderator, photojournalist and writer. Wildlife South is dedicated to the mid Atlantic and southern United States and has become a wonderful opportunity to share my love and knowledge of both nature and photography with others.
I have now switched to the digital world of photography and look forward to many more years of loving and sharing this craft!
Past and Present Affiliations
Photo Marketing Association, Professional Photographers of America, Professional Photographers Guild of Houston, North American Nature Photographers Association, National Association of Photoshop Professionals, National Geographic Society, The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ducks Unlimited, Nature Scapes. Net, The Nature Conservancy